Qualifications Explained

Comparing Different Qualifications Levels

The table below shows how the most common qualifications compare. The levels show how difficult a qualification is, starting with Entry Levels at the bottom and then working up.

Level

Qualification

Level 4 plus

Higher Education, University, Higher Apprenticeships, Degrees, Masters etc

Level 3

·         A Levels

·         A/S Levels

·         BTEC  Awards, Certificates, Diplomas at Level 3

·         NVQ Level 3

·         Advanced Apprenticeship

Level 2

·         GCSE grades 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4 or grades A* to C

·         BTEC Awards, Certificates, Diplomas at Level 2

·         Functional Skills Level 2

·         NVQ Level 2

·         Intermediate Apprenticeship

Level 1

·         GCSE grades 3, 2, 1 or grades D to G

·         BTEC Awards, Certificates, Diplomas at Level 1

·         Functional Skills Level 1

·         NVQ Level 1

Entry Level

Each entry level is available in three sub levels – 1, 2 and 3. Entry 3 is the highest.

·         Entry level award

·         Entry level certificate (ELC)

·         Entry level diploma

·         Entry level functional skills (ELFS)

·         Skills for life